“U.S. farmers are raising the fewest beef cows since at least 1971, government data released on Friday showed as drought conditions whittled herds, likely boosting costs for meatpackers that slaughter the animals into steak and hamburgers.

There were 29.4 million beef cows as of July 1, down 2.6% from a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a biannual report.”